Oak Harbor routs Port Clinton, readies for postseason
BY YANEEK SMITH, BEACON CONTRIBUTOR
PORT CLINTON — Before anyone could blink, Oak Harbor had scored 13 points in less just 24 seconds of action.
It turned out to be a microcosm for the entire game as the Rockets, who scored four touchdowns in the first quarter, soundly defeated Port Clinton, 48-8, to finish the regular season undefeated to claim its second consecutive Sandusky Bay Conference Bay Division title.
Oak Harbor (10-0, 5-0 SBC Bay) won by playing one of its best games of the season, scoring at will and holding the Redskin offense in check. The Rockets outgained Port Clinton (4-6, 2-3) in total yards, 433-182.
The scoring began just 18 seconds into the game when Jac Alexander threw a swing pass to Clay Schulte, who raced down the left sideline for a touchdown, getting a key block from Gage Brough at the Redskins 40-yard line and giving Oak Harbor the lead for good at 6-0. Caleb Heintz’s extra point, the first of four in the game, pushed the lead to seven points.
On the next play from scrimmage, Schulte intercepted a Colton Klima pass and raced 24 yards for the touchdown, pushing the lead to 13-0. After forcing a punt, the Rockets drove 92 yards in six plays, scoring on a 4-yard run by Alexander. Then Alexander connected with Schulte on the two-point conversion to increase the lead to 21-0. The final touchdown of the first quarter came with 2:42 to play when Alexander scored on a 15-yard run to make it 28-0, capping a six-play, 64-yard drive and effectively putting the game away.
“Our kids played really well, they were really focused in practice this week. I was pleased with the way the guys played,” said Oak Harbor Coach Mike May. “It was a fast start with those two touchdowns and that helped us grab the momentum. We kept it because the defense played well and our offensive line took over and our skill guys made some plays and broke it open.”
The victory clinches a postseason berth for the Rockets for the second consecutive year.
Oak Harbor has won every game by at least 19 points this season, and their performance against Port Clinton could be a sign of things to come in the postseason.
“It was important to come in here and lock up the SBC title,” May said. “(And) building momentum for the playoffs is huge.”
Alexander completed 8-of-10 passes for 201 yards and two touchdowns and carried the ball 10 times for 66 yards and two scores. Schulte, meanwhile, had nine rushes for 114 yards and a touchdown and caught four passes for 114 yards and a score. Tyler May finished with four receptions for 87 yards and a touchdown.
“We’ve stuck it out as a group together,” Schulte said of he and his teammates. “We’ve bought into winning and put in all the work. And we’re also getting some of our injured offensive linemen back.”
It was a tough loss for Port Clinton, which had its first losing season in six years.
For the ‘Skins, Cooper Stine rushed 13 times for 73 yards.
“Those (first) two touchdowns were tough to overcome. We couldn’t stop them, and they stopped us on defense,” said Port Clinton coach Beau Carmon. “We got beat by a better football team.”
It was the end of a season for the ‘Skins, one that saw them deal with a bevy of injuries, youth and inexperience, not to mention a very difficult schedule. Despite having such a tough season, Carmon had high praise for his seniors, a group that includes the likes of Stine, Colton Klima, Connor Gillum, Zach Weldon, Logan Faulkner, Caden Chapman and Zayne Manning.
“In terms of wins and losses, it’s not what we wanted. But as a program, you can’t just measure that. We showed glimpses of great football (during the season). We started off in a 0-3 hole, but because of the leadership of our seniors, we never stopped fighting. I never noticed a letdown in practice.
“They practiced the same against Oak Harbor as they did against Bellevue,” said Carmon. “Our seniors deserved a better season. They are the best group of leaders I’ve had since I’ve been here. They led by example, vocally and in the locker room.”
The Rockets finish first in the Division V, Region 18 standings with 25.43 points. On Saturday, Oak Harbor hosts Beachwood in the first round of the playoffs.